SIM only, Sharer or Individual Contracts – Which is Best for your Business Mobile Service?

SIM only, Sharer or Individual Contracts – Which is Best for your Business Mobile Service?
There are now a range of different options for organisations when they source their mobiles. Not all will be advertised as the networks would prefer to get you on two year contracts where if you add a handset at a later date that is on its own two year deal and you end up in a loop.
There are alternatives and this blog discusses the pros and cons of each option and the tricks to watch out for before you sign.

Sim Free
One month rolling sims are now readily available offering flexibility to companies with varying levels of requirements in terms of number of users. Unlimited calls and texts with 2Gb of data are available from c £22 a month. Lower usage packages are available for c £10 a month. The advantages are flexibility and absence of a 2 year commitment. The downside is that there is no hardware fund to buy new phones, but the cost of SIM free handsets has dropped significantly on the web. If you already have unlocked phones it could be ideal. You could also use it if you have some people out of contract as an interim measure to align all the renewal dates

Sharer Contracts
Sharer contracts are ideal if you have a lot of users with variable monthly usage. Nowadays you can share minutes, texts and data across each handset. So if one user is high then it can be offset by someone who is under. It avoids concerns over excess usage charges. It can be cheaper than buying unlimited deals for everyone. It is important to ensure that you get a coterminous contract whereby you can add additional users without extending the original contract date. These deals will come with a hardware fund, always ask for the price the handsets will charged for against the fund and check against online prices. If you can buy the handsets you want cheaper online then ask for the fund in cash. Normally you need at least 6 – 7 handsets to make sharer contracts cost in although it can vary depending on usage.

Individual Contracts
The final option is to have a company account but with an individual contract for each user. This gives the flexibility in terms of start and stop dates and still gives a hardware fund. The collective buying power should mean a better deal. But do not buy the same service for everyone. For example not everyone needs unlimited everything. Some users may be very low usage so buy accordingly. The group account will mean free calls between users if you don’t have unlimited packages. This works well for smaller companies with just a few mobiles who need help with financing new handsets.

In either of the last two options if you take a handset as part of a deal do try and ensure it is unlocked or at the very least get written confirmation it will unlocked for free on the last day of the contract. Also if you take a handset as part of a deal at the end of the two years ensure your payments are reduced then if you do not negotiate a new contract. What the mobile companies find very useful is that when the contract is up the same payment continues after the phone has been paid for. In fact a recent report estimated that in the UK alone that £1 billion was being wasted on payments for phones that had already been “bought”.
If you like any advice on what is the most suitable solution for your business then please contact us at 020 8912 0845 or for some free impartial advice.